And, you know, being able to wear the stars and stripes, when you step up on one of the blocks or, you know, when you step off of an airplane or when you hear the national anthem play, you know, it's one of the greatest feelings in the world because you know that there are people at home who are supporting you and watching you.
For the millionth time, I'm retired. I keep saying it, and people keep answering, 'Well, maybe he doesn't mean it this time.' But I do.
It doesn't matter what else is going on. When you walk into your arena or your - whatever you excel at, you're there to take care of the job that you have to do.
I haven't swam in any of the rivers outside of Baltimore. I try to keep it in the pool.
Every day after I wake up, I think, 'Wait... this can't be real; I'm still going to wake up.'
I have the opportunity to be part of swimming history. To take the sport to a new level would be an honor for me. There's no better time to try this than now.
Why is it such a big deal what I'm swimming?
I think the biggest things I am looking forward to is getting new faces into the sport. Getting kids who could be afraid of water to feel comfortable in the pool.
Once I'm already in my room, I still have to open a door to get into my bed. It's like a giant box. It's like the boy in a bubble.
I got a Cadillac Escalade. Put some rims on it, threw a couple TV's in there, and installed a system. I stuck my Xbox in there. I had to go for it.
I usually try to eat lot of calories. With so many events, it is important to sustain a high level of energy through the entire meet. I usually eat two hours before a meet.
I eat pretty much whatever I want. I don't have a strict diet. It's all about cramming in as many calories into my system as I possibly can.
I want to test my maximum and see how much I can do. And I want to change the world of swimming.
I want to be able to look back and say, 'I've done everything I can, and I was successful.' I don't want to look back and say I should have done this or that. I'd like to change things for the younger generation of swimmers coming along.
There is a one woman in China that claimed she paid $50 to get my e-mail address. It was pretty shocking. I got one this morning from Scotland. A girl's requesting a signed photo of me.
I know it won't be eight medals again. If you want to compare me to that, that's your decision, not mine. I'm going out there to try to accomplish the things that I have in my mind and in my heart.
I listen to music before my competitions to get me pumped up. It helps me stay focused.
Being compared to Ian Thorpe, that could be one of the greatest compliments you could ever get in swimming - being compared to him and Mark Spitz.
I think that everything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and you put the work and time into it. I think your mind really controls everything.
It's cool just because I've had this dream of changing the sport of swimming and it's finally happening.